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Friday, August 16, 2013

Let's discuss Macarons!

To date, I have made about 15 batches of macarons.1/3 of them failed..yes failed miserably. I didn't want to give up as I am sure something went wrong and I need to find out what it is.I used the same recipe same method for all.And its funny how come the results are not consistent. are not only pretty but also petty! Slight differences in folding/humidity/temperature can make or break them.
I know many of you out there have failed before.Dont lie..ha! I had done quite a decent amount of research on them and finally my latest few batches all came out rather consistent.
So here I am sharing with you all what I have learnt.I took lots of time and effort to research and do trials so I would appreciate if you do not copy this post(as well as my other blog posts, obviously) and pass it off as yours.

Disclaimer:I am not an expert,i am still learning as i bake.So if any info is incorrect(very low possibility),please pardon me. =)
Alright, let me start with the common problems faced. (By yours truly~)
1. Batter too runny(the piped batter wont hold its shape)
You have overmixed! Stop once its thick yet flowy.Think lava.

2. Batter too thick(the piped batter peaks remains even after tapping the pan)
You have not mixed it enough.It takes about 40 folds.Stop once batter is thick yet flowy. Think lava, again.

3. Shells crack
You have not rest them enough/dry them enough.You should be able to glide your finger across them. Take about 30 minutes on a good aka less humid day. Best still, dry with an oven. (I must thank Cynthia for her advice on drying them with oven.Made my life so much easier!)
4. No feet/ruffles
You have over rested them.I rested for macs for 1 hour plus on a humid day and they turn out looking round and cute but where are the feet? Another reason is the oven temperature is not hot/steady enough. Use an oven thermometer.  :)

Happiest moment when making macarons,feets forming.

5. Hollow shells
Have you forgotten to tap them?Do give them some really hard bangs/tap to rid the air bubbles.

6. Bottom of shell sticks to baking paper
Not cooked yet!Pop them back into the oven.if its over the required baking time.Shift it to the lower rack or add a tray on the top rack to prevent the top from burning when the base cook.

A well baked shell is easily removed from the parchment paper.
7. Discoloured shells
Oven is too hot.If you have a hotter top than bottom oven, place a tray on the top rack or bake at a lower rack. might should a good macaron should look like this? Look at the pic below:
Egg shell like crust with a chewy interior.

The perfect macaron in my point of view.
Egg shell-like texture on the outside.
Chewy texture on the inside.
Important things to note:
1. Whisk your whites to very stiff peaks
Why?? Lessen the chance of overmixing your batter.
2. Sift your ground almonds twice.
Why?? To make smoother shells.
3. Do not over mix.
Why?? Runny batter thats not possible to pipe/dry.You wont want to bin them ya?

4. Tap tap tap your pan.
Why?? To break any airbubbles in your shells so your shells will turn out pretty!

5. Make sure you dry your mac shells before baking. (You should be able to glide your finger)
Why?? When there is a thin layer over the shell, heat will not be able to escape from the top.They will escape from the bottom thus forming feet/ruffles.

6. Bake at a steady temperature and do not open the oven halfway. Why?? They are petty little ones remember?? If you really cant resist to check on them, do so only after 12 minutes.
And finally,all ovens are different.After a few rounds, you will understand how your macs work with your oven.Adjust accordingly. :)

The Recipe:
This is the recipe I am using.After sharing this recipe, I have many people asking me if they are very sweet. I won't tell you they arent sweet(macs arent right if they arent sweet!) but they are definitely not the overly sweet version. I don't really have a sweet tooth and this is good for me. ;)
For the Fillings:
Adding filling to the shells.
The fillings for macarons are very versatile. You can use ganache, jam, curd or cream.
Pipe a decent amount of cream onto one side of the shell, not too much/little.
For the Shells:
You can add flavours if u like but I added colours only, at least for now.I don't really want to add too much liquid to risk my batter which is why you should use powdered or gel coloring in moderation.
Also,you can add some sprinkles before bake or draw on them after baked to make them more interesting.

Some of the macarons i did.
Lavender Macarons

Rose Macarons with sprinkes
Rose Macarons Pops

Banana Macarons

Pistachios Macarons
Yuzu Macarons
Thats all I have to share for now.Happy macaron-ing!

~Indulge in what we make at DeQueenKitchen~

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